Ahmad Salkida, journalist known for having access to the leadership of the Boko Haram sect, has again taken to Twitter with new information on the Chibok schoolgirls.
In a series of tweets last Saturday, Salkida had said 98 of the girls had died in captivity.
“Many of the girls have died as a result of crossfire and bombardments of the security forces that no doubt were intent on rescuing them. I regret to state here that only 15 out of the 113 #Chibokgirls are alive today, based on my investigations in the last three months,” he had written.
But in new tweets yesterday, Salkida, according to TheCable, said two other cells within the sect brought information to him that apart from the 15, there were girls being held.
“A leading member of the Jama’atu Ahlis-Sunna Lidda’Awati Wal-Jihad or Boko Haram has now clarified the earlier information about 15 girls. Indeed, the 15 #Chibokgirls are available, but known to a particular cell that spoke to me emphatically days leading to the fourth anniversary.”
“However, two other cells within the larger group has brought additional information, clarifying the earlier information, that there are another 10 girls available to another cell. Outside of the 15 and 10, another five among the girls are also alive as at early hours of today,” he said.
With the new information, the total number of the girls, reportedly alive are 30.
Salkida explained that the set of five, according to the group, had apparently become permanently embedded in the doctrines and teaching programmes of the sect and the girls had asked not to be considered among those likely to be included in any release in the future.
The federal government had dismissed Salkida’s claim, saying the facts available to the government indicated that all the remaining girls in Boko Haram captivity were alive.
The defence headquarters, in a similar manner, had also questioned Salkida’s claim, saying it was to discourage the government.
But Salkida challenged the government to release a proof of live video, insisting that only 15 alive.
Salkida said the objective of his earlier tweets was to compel the government and Boko Haram to speak, but the government was unnecessarily defensive.
“It is most disappointing that the government in its might and given the machinery available to it, peremptorily declared to the public that it lacks institutional memory regarding the processes of the #Chibokgirls,” the journalist wrote.